Dear Editors and colleagues,
You may be aware that Elsevier is refusing to negotiate with the German Universities about a national license with the absurd consequence, that the very same researchers who provide relevant parts of their content without payment and in addition make the quality assessment without payment cannot even access their own publications afterwards. It is quite obvious, that such a parasitic business case cannot persist on the long run, since the traditional service of academic publishers – namely distributing knowledge to the few people globally who are interested and giving visibility to ones work – is no longer needed in the digital age.

Therefore, I am currently not reviewing for free for Elsevier, unless an agreement with the German universities has been reached. This is not supposed to be an offence against the dedicated academics who run the journal and write articles but rather self-defense against the multi-national company, which is earning money with our work, blackmailing universities to pay ever increasing subscription fees and at the same time taking it for granted, that it can ask us to work without payment (effectively in our free time) for their benefit whenever it suits. Despite this injustice I am deeply concerned that the academic publishing system is going to break down sooner or later if no action is taken. I hope you understand my rational.

Kind regards, 

Benjamin Bechtel


Further information: